Dozens of DealerSocket employees were let go from their jobs in July effective immediately, just two months after the Software as a Service (SaaS) firm was acquired by Solera Holdings Inc. Sources say other employees were given a 90-day notice of their termination, which Solera has announced is part of its restructuring plan that included the acquisition of both DealerSocket and fleet management developer Omnitracs.
The acquisitions were completed on June 7th. At that time, Solera CEO Darko Dejanovic released a statement noting that the “highly strategic acquisitions” would “enable [Solera] to expand into adjacent verticals and capitalize on emerging trends in our industry.” The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, and DealerSocket reportedly did not respond to inquiries regarding the recent layoffs.
Who was impacted
The layoffs included employees from all different sectors, including engineering, marketing, and customer service positions. Almost every single C-suite executive was purportedly included in the purge as well. While the exact number of layoffs is uncertain, sources suggest it was well over 100.
Last month, Grace Sharkey of FreightWaves reported that DealerSocket sources stated the July layoffs included almost 200 employees and 160 more employees are expected to be laid off in the middle of October. In total, it is estimated that the job cuts could end up being as much as 35% of the DealerSocket workforce.
One former employee stated that his manager “explained that [Solera and DealerSocket] are trying to align the companies, and in doing so, they have eliminated positions.” Another said that “tech support, engineering, and operations for every product were hit and several were totally gutted” and that Solera “won’t have enough bodies to manage new development and are going to work the remaining people until they quit just trying to keep the lights blinking.”
There is speculation that DealerSocket’s CEO, Sejal Pietrzak, was also among the job cuts. Pietrzak was ranked number 7 of 50 on Software Report’s “Top 50 SaaS CEOs” in 2019 and was the only CEO from the automotive industry to be awarded a spot on the list. At the time of the acquisition in June, Pietrzak stated that “the combination of DealerSocket with Solera allows us to offer dealerships a fully unified platform to simplify workflows.”
Reaction to the layoffs
Employees who had been laid off, in conjunction with other individuals in the SaaS industry, voiced their disapproval of the layoffs on social media platforms including LinkedIn. Users started the hashtag #hiredealersocket, which was geared towards finding new jobs for those who have been let go by DealerSocket.
Ultimately, Solera seems quite confident in its decision. Solera’s CTO Evan Davies told sources that there are always “inherent duplications of potential roles” when companies are involved in a merger and added that Solera is “stronger and more focused because of the decisions [the company] made this summer.”
Davis also declined to answer how many employees were let go and when exactly the summer layoffs occurred.
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